Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Ice Cube: Raw Footage

In spite of the title's promise, Ice Cube's new Raw Footage contains not a single audio outtake from Are We There Yet? or The Longshots. Part-time MC Cube remains a pale shadow of his former self: Where he once radiated danger, the best he can muster here is the boyish bluster of "I Got My Locs On" (featuring Young Jeezy) and "Do Ya Thing," where he boasts, "We get lap dances from nuns / They put away their crucifix and say 'Ice Cube, you da shit.'" That goofball humor plays a lot better than Cube's fuzzy stabs at political commentary, and the production is as forgettable as the subject matter—though the introspective "Stand Tall" smartly borrows the sad majesty of William DeVaughn's "Be Thankful For What You Got." The amusingly misguided "Tomorrow" begins with a deliciously tardy attack on downloading, at one point raising the terrifying prospect of song-stealers getting their "ass beat by Erykah Badu." It's a blast from the past that only underlines how irrelevant Cube has become. The rap legend's second independently released solo album is a long way from AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, but the old man is still good for a larf.

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